Ring-necked Ducks (Aythya collaris)
The two Ring-necked Ducks (Aythya collaris) featured in the present post were discovered in an irrigation pond in Las Martelas (Los Llanos de Aridane) on the evening of March 20, and photographed the following morning. They came as a pleasant surprise during what has been a slack migratory season so far.
The paler of the two ducks
Regular visitors to this blog may recall two other recent records of this species: a female I discovered in the same pond in Las Martelas in December 2012 - and which was last seen there by a local observer on March 8 2013 - and a drake spotted in the Laguna de Barlovento reservoir by a visiting birder in January 2013.
The darker individual
Despite the slight difference in size and distinct plumage, I assume both the present birds are females, and are newcomers to the island. For comparison, below is a picture of the previous female monitored between December 2012 and the end of February 2013. Apart from the drabber plumage, the head appears to lack the peaked crown clearly visible in the two recently-discovered birds. As always, comments would be welcome.
Female Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris) and Tufted Duck (A. fuligula)
Photo: December 11 2012
The present sighting will be submitted to the Spanish Rarities Committee in due course.